The man I have known as my father since the age of two is a certified electrician.  He is the type of man who can fix anything with his hands.  I wrecked my car once and my dad put a new bumper on my car in the front yard of my Bigmama’s house, looked just like brand new.   The kids were swinging on my garage door and my dad came and fixed it.  Need a watch fixed? My dad can do it. Is something knocking in your car? My dad can find the knock. Do you need a ceiling fan installed? My dad can install it. Got a shortage in a plug? My dad can fix it.  He is the type of man that we refer to when we say “They don’t make men like that anymore.”  However, there is one thing that overshadows his talented hands……… My dad has been addicted to drugs for as long as I have known him.

 

But I love my dad.  When he isn’t high he is the best dad that he knows how to be.  I am his first child, his daughter, he’s proud of me.  I’m sure people look at my dad and see a man who is a “crack head”, and yes there have been times that I have been mad at him for not doing things or not being there when I needed him.  But even though my dad loves me there is a hold on him that is stronger than the love he has for me and that is his addiction.

Recently the world lost an amazing music icon, Whitney Elizabeth Houston.  A VERY talented woman, and although we loved this singer with an AMAZING voice,  much of what she accomplished was somehow overshadowed with her flaw.   She was addicted to drugs and/or alcohol (I don’t know what, I have never been in a room with her while she was doing it).  I empathize with her daughter, Bobbi Kristina.  I know how she feels.  I don’t know how it feels to lose a parent, because I haven’t lost one but I do know how it feels to know that the parent that you love is being judged for the addiction they have and not the talent they possess.

 

I can remember being around 10 years old, my mom bought me a purple boom box with a strap to carry over my shoulder for Christmas.  She also bought me a Whitney Houston cassette tape.  I stood in the mirror for hours pretending to be Whitney Houston in concerts, wondering “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”…. and I made numerous dance routines to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.  I saw this skinny black girl sing her heart out and even though I couldn’t sing, I felt like I could be just like her.  I even did interviews as if I was her.  As I got older and could understand the words to her songs not as a child but as an adult I fell in and out of love relating to songs such as “Oh Yes” and “My Love is Your Love”…. I felt her pain when I wanted to leave the father of my child when she sang “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay”… ya’ll didn’t hear her at the end when she said… “Pay my own rent, pay my light bill, take care of my baby!”

 

A few  years ago me and Cam sat and watched Oprah interview Whitney and I felt so proud!!! YES!!! Whitney is back!!! I ran out and got her new cd and then “Like I Never Left” became a new favorite for me….  And I found a new anthem in “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”.

Whitney has a voice that no one since has been able to mimic.  People try and even a few sound good singing renditions of her songs but NO ONE can sang like her! I don’t care who you are you KNOW who Whitney Houston is.  I was truly hurt when I heard Whitney passed.  I was in shock. I have been hearing buzz about her new movie Sparkle, I was excited, proud, READY!!! Now she is gone.  She made mistakes in her life; I know I have made more mistakes than I can count.  And yes we have seen her battle with demons but that’s not WHO she was.

 

She was a musical song bird.  She was a mother, a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, mentor, friend, musical influence, confidant, just to name a few.  She set records, and climbed mountains.  Those of us who LOVE music felt her songs.  We watched her transition from a pop star to a DIVA.  Her smile in every video made you smile.  The way she rolled her neck in her “Woman Empowerment” songs made you relate to this Jersey girl.  The way she stood up for her man when everyone was against them made ride or die girls around the world proud!  You may not agree with her and Bobby but God KNOWS she LOVED THAT MAN!!! She LOVED her daughter with every ounce of her being.  She was a woman. A child of God. She may have lost her way a few times, but haven’t we all???

 

I don’t know what it is that makes us so judgmental of others.  I don’t know why we pick and choose who we will forgive and what we will forget.  We made this woman famous, we loved her then when she had LIFE issues we judged her, ridiculed her, gave up on her…. we broke her heart.  When I look at the life of Whitney Houston, I think about my dad.  I know that when he passes, I just want people to celebrate the good things he did.   The times he made them laugh, the times he came to fix something that was broken, the man that he tried to be.  I don’t want people to make fun of him and talk about his addiction.  I’m sure Bobbi Kristina and her family want the same.  I know we love Whitney for the music she gave us, but what about the love that she shared with them.  They have lost more than a pop music artist, they have lost a piece of their heart.

 

I have learned that life goes on, and pretty soon the Whitney songs won’t be in heavy rotation anymore, but there are Whitney’s in EVERY family.  I can’t make my dad stop doing drugs, that’s something he has to want to do on his own.  But while he’s here, I will just let him know that I will always love him.  But as for Whitney, who once made us all ponder the question of Where Do Broken Hearts Go? Do they find their way home? I think she and her broken heart have found their way home….. May her soul FINALLY rest in PEACE and I pray that her family find “peace that surpasses all understanding”.

~Dee

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